“Penumbral” Lunar Eclipse to Appear in the Skies on Wednesday


Eagle-eyed skywatchers get those heads up early Wednesday: A “penumbral” lunar eclipse will slip across the skies.

Not as spectacular – or noticeable – as a total lunar eclipse, this rather subtle phenomenon occurs when the moon moves through the outer part of Earth’s shadow (known as the penumbra), according to EarthSky.org.

Look at the full moon in the Western sky shortly before dawn breaks, and if skies are clear you may notice that it’s slightly darker than usual.

Observant people will recognize the shadow, while others won’t spot anything at all, EarthSky’s Bruce McClure notes.

About 35% of all eclipses are of the penumbral type, which can be difficult to detect even with a telescope, according to eclipse expert Fred Espenak.

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SOURCE: USA Today, Doyle Rice